Girls’ varsity couldn’t shutout the Eagles in Bird Battle

By JoyAnne Ibay

Originally published on January 27, 2016

TSenior guard Brandi Wong puts up a three-pointer during the game. Filmed by Leonard Caoili

Although the varsity girls’ basketball team put up a solid effort in this year’s Battle of the Birds, they fell short of their goal, losing to the Eagles 55–43 on Jan. 15 at Kezar Pavilion.

Throughout the night, the Lady Cards put up a great fight defensively, frequently forcing turnovers and missed shots, but they had a tough time rebounding the ball and converting offensively on the other end.

Senior guard Tiffani Lowe maneuvers past Eagle defense during the game. Photo by Leonard Caoili

Although the Cardinals won the tip, it was a slow first quarter for the girls. Washington got the first basket of the night, but senior forward Sabrina Borja quickly answered with one of her own. Senior center-forward Francesca Baldwin struggled in the first quarter, traveling twice and missing rebounds, but made a terrific putback shot after Borja’s missed free throw. Although the first quarter had exciting baskets from the Cardinals, the team was behind 12–9 at the end of the quarter.

The team continued to struggle in the second quarter, failing to grab defensive rebounds, allowing many second-chance points for the Eagles. Burying a much needed three-pointer a minute in, Lowe got the crowd on its feet again. Lowe scored five of the quarter’s nine points. However, the Eagles held onto their lead, ending the second half 25–18.

Senior center-forward Francesca Baldwin shooting during the game. Photo by Leonard Caoili

The team finally found their rhythm less than halfway through the third quarter with a steal from Borja and her pass to Lowe, who finished the play with an easy bucket. Senior guard Brandi Wong’s steal and outlet pass to Lowe, who completed another fastbreak with 2:50 left in the third quarter, sparked a 7–0 run for the Cardinals and tied the game at 31–31. Although the team scored 12 points in the third quarter, the Eagles managed to maintain their lead. The Lady Cardinals trailed 36–31 going into the fourth and final quarter.

With the game on the line, the team played with even more intensity during the fourth quarter, forcing turnovers and a 30-second violation for the Eagles. While they had some solid looks, with both Wong and junior guard Madeline Quach contributing key three-pointers, the team suffered the tough loss, falling 55–43 against the Eagles.

Lowe, who was the Cardinal’s lead scorer, said the team’s anxiousness beforehand most likely lead to the slow start.

“I think we were just really nervous about Battle of the Birds because it was a big game and we were focused on trying to impress everyone.”

“I think we’re just really nervous about Battle of the Birds because it was a big game and we were focused on trying to impress everyone,” Lowe said. “Trying to impress everyone just made us even more nervous. We should just calm down and relax and just pretend it’s a practice where we just go hard.”

The Lady Cards’ next matchup will be against the Galileo Lions at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 at home.